How ketosis and gut bacteria change levels of GABA in the hippocampus

“The researchers measured levels of hundreds of biochemicals in the gut, blood and hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays an important role in spreading seizures in the brain. They found that the bacteria that were elevated by the ketogenic diet alter levels of biochemicals in the gut and the blood in ways that affect neurotransmitters in the hippocampus.
How do the bacteria do this? “The bacteria increased brain levels of GABA — a neurotransmitter that silences neurons — relative to brain levels of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that activates neurons to fire,” said co-author Helen Vuong, a postdoctoral scholar in Hsiao’s laboratory.”

The blog is on autism, much of the research on the theraputic ketogenic diet is in epilepsy. But there may be some overlap with schizophrenia. There’s been some research about the benefits of a ketogenic diet in at least some people with schizophrenia.

The TL;DR suggests that for those that respond favorably to a ketogenic diet, but find it difficult to maintain, they may achieve similar results using ketone supplements and specific fibers and foods to increase 2 specific gut bacteria, Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides. These are unfortunately not available as a probiotic, but can be increased by consuming certain kinds of fiber supplements, (FOS, inulin) and foods like garlic, onion, asparagus and banana, pomegranates, cranberries, grape polyphenols (grapeseed extract) the medicine metformin and resistant starch "type 4 "


Yay. I take metformin.

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Interesting 151515

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It looks like the FOS fiber and others also increases butyrate in the gut. Butyrate is being trialed for cognition in schizophrenia. The trial is supposed to end in 2020.

Other things that apparently can increase butyrate - leaving your butter on the counter. (Weird.)